Is Defeat in the Air?

Alright, so I had to cut off Part Three a little abruptly last time. But, we are back and ready to roll. So, let me shut up and continue.

We left off with learning more about Bromden’s backstory, and why he has decided to be “deaf and dumb” from now on. It was pretty sad, and I don’t want to go back through all that. If you wanna refresh, just go to the last blog post that should be at the bottom of the page.

So, after that, Bromden and McMurphy are awakened by an aide named Geever, who is collecting gum from under Bromden’s bed. I thought this was really gross of Bromden. He would chew gum and then stick it to the metal part under the bed to save for later. I understand why, though. According to Geever, it’s apparently odd that an “indigent patient” was obtaining gum. So, he hid it in order to keep it from getting taken. I’m not sure why that’s so odd, but it’s whatever. It’s still really nasty, dude…

After Geever leaves, McMurphy gives Bromden a couple of sticks of Juicy Fruit gum to make up for it. Then, one of the most shocking parts of the novel comes in.

Bromden tells him thank you! That’s right, you read it! He said thank you!

I would be more worried if he had done that with any one else. But, if you remember, McMurphy hinted to Bromden a while ago that he knew he wasn’t actually deaf. He hasn’t told anyone about that secret. He may not have known about him being dumb, but he wasn’t going to expose his roommate’s cover like that. He was a genuinely good person with morals. I’d almost consider them friends at this point.

This little slip up causes a good amount of conversation to happen between the two. I’m gonna try and navigate through it all as best as I can.

After Bromden’s slip up, McMurphy relates to him by telling a story about a time he had a job picking beans when he was younger. He explains how all the adults ignored him while he was there, so he decided to not say anything for an entire month. The adults were gossiping without worry, thinking young McMurphy wasn’t listening. At the end of the month, he spoke up and repeated all of the things they had said. This caused trouble everywhere, proving that just listening can be the biggest weapon.

Bromden tells him that he’s too little to do something like that, which is insane because he’s described as an extremely big guy. I’m sure he means something a little deeper though. He’s small in confidence. After staying in a demeaning environment for so long, it makes sense that he’s not confident in who he is. I wouldn’t be either.

McMurphy offers to help him by putting him through a body building process. He even offered to pay the fishing fee for him if he did the body building enough to lift the control panel in the tub room.

A plan is hatching!! What an exciting adventure!!

There’s also a reveal about the girls that McMurphy said are his aunts. They’re actually prostitutes. Go figure. McMurphy also manages to get a patient that used to be a sea captain named George on the trip. That’s always fun.

Now, on the day of the trip, there was a little trouble because one of the girls couldn’t make it. There was only one car, and Miss Ratched was trying to keep them from going because of that. McMurphy ended up talking Doctor Spivey into going with them, which provided an extra car. And off they went.

Bromden talks about the Combine a lot. I’m never really given an explanation on what that is. I personally think about the industrial revolution when I hear about it. Bromden talks about all of the changes that have been made in the world outside of the hospital while on their way to the boating dock. He mentions mechanized commuters mainly, which is what made me think of that. There’s a lot of change happening at that time, so it makes sense.

Anyway, the crew has to stop for gas, and an important event happens. The attendant tries to take advantage of Doctor Spivey, but McMurphy stops him by claiming that the mental patients are all psychotic murderers. This causes a realization within the patients. They realize that their illness can be a powerful tool for them. They get confident, and they start to ask for more and more things.

This surge of confidence is something they needed. Like I said, after living in such a demeaning environment for so long, it can really take a toll on someone’s confidence. They’ve been messed with and abused mentally for a while. Confidence could be a helpful cure.

The crew makes it to the boating dock, but there’s an issue. The captain won’t let them on the boat due to the absence of a waiver that protects the captain of liability in the event of an accident. While McMurphy is trying to talk to the captain, other boaters around the area begin to tease the prostitute, Candy. It’s clear she’s pretty uncomfortable, so she looks to the patients for help. But, their newfound confidence has been left back at the station because they can’t seem to say a word.

McMurphy gives the captain a phone number to call to help them get on the boat. As soon as the captain goes back to call, McMurphy herds everyone on to the boat. He asks George to start the boat and navigate them. George readily agrees, and he quickly gets the boat up and going. The captain comes back out a little too late, and he ends up seeing his boat going out to sea.

Yeah, so they stole a boat. That’s very bad. I do not condone this type of behavior, but it was very funny to read and imagine. Seriously, imagine a group of mental patients stealing a boat. Hilarious.

To make this quick, I’m just going to tell you that they had an awesome time. It was nice to see them be pretty much normal. They were just a group of people fishing on the water. It was finally a little piece of normalcy in their lives.

They get back to the dock to find an angry captain and two policemen. They’re about to be in a lot of trouble until Doctor Spivey comes to the rescue by threatening to tell the authorities about not having enough life jackets on the boat.

S A V A G E AHHHH! I love Doctor Spivey!!

We’re gonna get a little sad now. While everyone seemed extremely happy, McMurphy seems off. He’s even described as “pale and exhausted,” which is very unlike McMurphy. The crew takes a detour to pass by an old house that McMurphy used to live in, and it’s also the place where he had sex for the first time. I know, really odd. It gets weirder.

He had sex for the first time at ten years old. That’s pretty freaking gross if you ask me. And he did it with a girl younger than him. I was shocked and a little terrified. I really didn’t know what to think.

Anyway, the girl gave him the dress she was wearing as reminder. McMurphy ended up tossing it out of his window, but it caught on a tree branch, and was still whipping away in the wind when they passed. Bromden goes so far as to describe him as “dreadfully tired and strained and frantic, like there was not enough time left for something he had to do.”

This is not good. This proves that McMurphy is getting tired of this battle he’s fighting. He came in so happy and boisterous and bold, but now he’s become frail and exhausted. I don’t want McMurphy’s spirit breaking, but it seems like we might getting to that point. Which is scary.

And that’s the end of Part Three! The next post should be the last one! So so so sad! I’ve enjoyed this journey!

Until then, stay sane out there…